CPA Memo Admits That Iraq Is A Clusterfuck

Ken AshfordIraqLeave a Comment

A newly-surfaced memo, written in March, from an unnamed U.S. government official detailed to the CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) in Iraq, is alarming in its honesty.

You can read about the CPA memo here. Some highlights from the article:

Yet the memo is gloomy in most other respects, portraying a country mired in dysfunction and corruption, overseen by a CPA that "handle(s) an issue like 6-year-olds play soccer: Someone kicks the ball and 100 people chase after it hoping to be noticed, without a care as to what happens on the field."

The memo also describes the CPA as "handicapped by [its] security bubble," and derides the U.S. government for spending "millions importing sport utility vehicles which are used exclusively to drive the kilometer and a half" between CPA and Governing Council headquarters when "we would have been much better off with a small fleet of used cars and a bicycle for every Green Zone resident."

The memo also notes that while Iraqi police "remain too fearful to enforce regulations," they are making a pretty penny as small-arms dealers, with the CPA as an unwitting partner. "CPA is ironically driving the weapons market," it reveals. "Iraqi police sell their U.S.-supplied weapons on the black market; they are promptly re-supplied. Interior ministry weapons buy-backs keep the price of arms high."

CPA now estimates there are at least 30 separate militias active in Iraq, and "essentially [CPA] doesn’t know what to do with regard to them — which is frightening, because CPA’s authority essentially ends on June 30, and any Iraqi incentive to get rid of the militias is likely to go away after that date . . .

We have a strategy?!?

UPDATE: Full text of memo now online here.